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World News

Cuban Percussionist Miguel "Anga" Diaz Passes
Published August 16, 2006

Cuban percussionist Miguel "Anga" Diaz died at his Barcelona home at the age of 45 on August 9. The cause of death was apparently a heart attack.

Cuban percussionist Miguel "Anga" Diaz, an acclaimed conga master who perfected a five-drum technique that allowed him to explore different genres from progressive jazz to traditional Afro-Cuban standards, died at his Barcelona home at the age of 45 on August 9. The cause of death was apparently a heart attack.

Diaz, a former member of Irakere, was regarded as one of the world's leading exponents of Afro-Cuban percussion. He often collaborated with Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, and bassist Orlando Cachaito Lopez. He also participated in Juan de Marcos Gonzalez's Afro-Cuba All Stars with the likes of Ruben Gonzalez and Ibrahim Ferrer.

Recently Diaz released the album Echu Mingua, his debut as a bandleader, under the World Circuit label. According to the L.A. Times, a week before his death, Diaz performed in Barcelona with his new ensemble, fusing popular Brazilian music with Afro-Cuban jazz. He also recently formed a new trio with Cachaito and flamenco pianist Chano Dominguez. A new live album, recorded by Radio France, is due for release Oct. 10, on Sosa's Ota Records. -Lissette Corsa